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Toy Boat Automata 


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Toy Boat Automata 

Written By: Billy 


Drill (1) 

Sander (1) 

Scroll saw, band saw, or jigsaw (1) 

Table saw or hand saw (1) 


Assorted hardwoods or softwoods (1) 
whatever you prefer 

Number 4 washers (1) 

1/8" brass or wood dowel (1) 


Here's how to make a toy boat automata that is very sweet and interesting. I often have it on 
the coffee table when I have guests, and it's surprising how often it's picked up and played 
with by young and old. 

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Toy Boat Automata 

Step 1 — Toy Boat Automata 

• First, save the layout and print the patterns. 

• Next, you can either cut out the patterns and glue them to the wood, or you can trace them 
onto the wood; whatever floats your boat. I used a 1/4"-thick piece of oak board for the box 
and waves and a 1/4"-thick piece of mahogany for the boat and crank. The sails are about 
1/8" thick, also made of oak. 

• You don't have to use hardwood for this project. Whatever you can find will work. 

Step 2 

• I used a 1/4-inch piece of mahogany for the boat. I also cut an extra piece for the cabin. 
This is not necessary; you can just add a cabin onto the pattern. I did it for the 3-D effect. 

• Now draw where your masts will go. 

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Toy Boat Automata 

Step 3 

• When drilling blind holes, a good trick is to put a piece of tape on the drill bit to know how 
deep to go. I drilled a hole for the masts with a 1/8" drill bit, and for the back pinion pin hole 
I used a 5/32" drill bit. 

• Next, draw out where the cabin/cannon windows will be and use a 1/16" drill bit to slightly 
etch them into the wood. 

Step 4 

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• Next, cut out your sails. I used 1/8-inch oak. Then I cut my masts, sanded one side for 
better glue adhesion and used clothes pins to hold them until the glue had hardened. 

• After they have dried, glue them to your boat. 

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Toy Boat Automata 

Step 5 

• I used a permanent felt marker to mark the cabin/cannon windows and the flag. 

• Next, I used a 1/8 inch drill bit to drill the pinion and crank holes for the outside of the toy. 
A good way to do this is to clamp both together and drill them at the same time so that 
they line up perfectly. I also drilled the inside waves and boat, but I used a 5/32" drill bit so 
the waves move smoothly. 

• Now paint the inside parts of the toy. I used Tung'n Teak Danish oil. 
Step 6 

• Start putting your box together. I made the sides of the box 1" X VA" with a tapered inside 
slope so it wouldn't interfere with the movement of the waves. I also glued in the fixed 
pinion rod. I used a piece of 1/8" brass. You can also use 1/8" wood dowel. 

• Start putting your project together. I used #4 washers for spacers, but this is not 
necessary. Your boat and waves should move freely since these holes are drilled with a 
5/32" drill bit. 

• Next, cut yourself a piece of broom handle that is 1" round with a 20-degree angle on each 

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Toy Boat Automata 

Step 7 

• Put your broomstick flat on the work bench and drill a 1/8" hole straight through it, off to 
the side. 

• I used a 1/8" piece of brass dowel 1 7/8" long for the crank shaft and glued it in. 

• Next, put it through the crank hole in the box with washers as shown. 

Step 8 

• Next, glue the box together and let it dry. Then grind down the pinion dowel flush with the 
wood and one side of the crank, and sand the box. 

• Make your crank handle. I used mahogany for the crank and a piece of brass dowel for the 

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Toy Boat Automata 

Step 9 

• Glue the handle pin and paint the crank. 

• Hope you and yours have hours of enjoyment with this simple and fun toy, suitable for all 

This document was last generated on 2013-01-06 07:38:42 PM. 

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